Andy and Jason Dorais are accomplished ski mountaineers, known for flying up mountains in the Wasatch Mountains. But now that the ski season is slowing down, the two have been running trails. Andy told us a story on how they came to love running and their recent trip to the Paria River.
For so many people running is a chore. And although it was like that for us once, now running equals freedom and fun. It can be painful, but it’s always gratifying after the fact. How did we change running from monotonous drudgery to something fun we do nearly every day? Read on.
You see beautiful places. – We love the mountains and feel most alive while moving through them. We’ve embraced that one of the best ways to see and get to wild places is by running. Sometimes the terrain is too rugged to call our movement “running,” but we move as dictated by the land. Hikes and summits that used to take all day can now be done before breakfast when we give up the big packs and trade walking with rest breaks for continuous movement. Running gives us more summits and more fun.
It keeps you in shape. – Everyone is different, but we also find that mountain running is the best way to prepare and stay fit for winter ski mountaineering. Actually, they are both nearly the same thing, except we trade dirt and trails for snow and skin tracks. Both allow total freedom to go where we want and to explore like kids.
It’s fun! – There are other reasons to run too: Competition, cardiovascular health, and trying to look good in skinny jeans are a few others (just kidding about the skinny jeans; our thighs are too big for that nonsense). But as we do this more and more, it really boils down to having fun trying to move fast through inspiring terrain. We push our limits and try to find out how far and how long we can go. New ideas and projects come to mind that motivate us to keep running. Maybe that’s why we love the SCARPA motto, “No Place Too Far.” The more we do the better we feel.
Last week we went for a run through one of the most beautiful areas on earth: the Paria River. It runs through a stunning canyon starting just out of Kanab, Utah and tracks for nearly 40 miles to the Colorado at Lee’s Ferry. The run was long for having just come out of ski boots a few weeks ago, but the towering red walls, flowing cool water, and occasional patches of quicksand-like mud kept us fully engaged and made the time pass quickly.
It was a mad dash type of trip – leaving Salt Lake late one evening and returning in the wee hours of the next day. Sitting here now, it seems like a dream as I look out the window at green grass and lingering snow in the mountains. But running is like that. It can take us away from the ordinary and send us to wild places, filling our real lives with the stuff of dreams. It doesn’t seem so monotonous anymore.